He was enthralled by classical themes and this can be seen most impressively in 'Hercules wrestling with Death for the Body of Alcestis' (1871) for example. By 1878, Frederic Leighton became President of the Royal Academy and was made a baronet in 1886. In 1893, he produced one of his most striking paintings in 'Flaming June'. Frederic Leighton died exhausted by his battle with heart disease and the demands of his public role as President of the Royal Academy. It is significant that he left no school of pupils to continue a tradition that itself was almost exhausted.
"If Leighton looked back to classical prototypes, he did so through the eyes of a Victorian aesthete, whose primary concern was to please the eye and elevate the imagination of his audience, not to belabour them with the perfection of Greek form." Richard Ormond.